I spent last week in Las Vegas with my beautiful Mommy and 4 of my 5 sisters. It was the first, ever Sister Palooza and it was a wonderful time. See, my family is spread out across the US.
My Mom lives in Boise, ID.
I have two sisters that live in Washington state, Pam & Jen, and I have two sisters that live in Arizona, Nancy and Danielle. I also a sister in Utah, Valerie, as well as my brother, Jon and his wife Sara. We invited Sara to join us, but seeing as how she has a new baby, she thought she should stay home this year. Valerie was also unable to make this year’s event.
Nancy is on the left and Jen is on the right. That sweet smile is an indication of Nancy’s true nature. Nancy and Danielle drove over from AZ and Nancy had chauffeur duty for the trip. Driving up and down the Vegas strip was not fun but she managed it like a trooper. Nancy also has the ability to turn ordinary food into a culinary delight. Plain, frozen cream puffs became some magical dessert when dipped into her hazelnut chocolate sauce. A frozen lasagna became an Italian masterpiece when paired with her Autumn Salad and homemade garlic bread.
Oh, and the Bread Pudding!!! You don’t even know. I didn’t even like bread pudding and she converted me over with her vanilla custard sauce…mmm….bread pudding.
Jen is the family hair goddess, if you couldn’t tell by her flowing red mane of hair. She hit the genetic jackpot with her tresses and she happens to be a hair stylist as well. She gave Nancy, Danielle and me some hair love, despite being on vacation. She’s a keeper! Jen has a wonderful sense of humor and it’s hard not to laugh when you are around her. She kept us all giggling the whole time.
Pam is on the left and Danielle is on the right. This was Pam’s first trip to Las Vegas and away from her kiddos. It was so much fun to spend time with her. Our lives diverged years ago and it’s rare for me to see her. Pam is the family fashionista and the stores in Vegas were quite a treat for her. It’s hard to have a Prada heart when you live in a Dress Barn world. Pam has a way of saying things that just cracks everyone up, even when she manages to use all her words up and has nothing left to say. I wish we had more time together to do some of the fun things that Vegas has to offer.
Danielle is the baby of the family and the dare devil. She found a Groupon deal for a tandem skydiving jump in Vegas and she went for it. We drove out to Jean, NV to watch her jump out of a perfectly good plane. The girl was a natural.
It was so fun to see her do something that brought her so much joy! I’m surprised she didn’t have any bugs in her teeth when she landed because she smiled the whole way down. No fear at all, even when she was dangling out of the plane, waiting for the instructor to jump. I told her it is now my life’s mission to make sure she does that for her profession. She was born to fly!
We had a lot of fun watching her jump. Her cute instructor, Jace, thought maybe we were having too much fun because every he came in from a jump and we were laughing. He went out for a second jump and came back and we were still laughing. He was a great instructor for Danielle.
If you’re ever in Las Vegas and wanting to try a tandem jump, I highly recommend Sin City Skydiving.
There were lots of family “laugh abouts” and nothing that would amuse anyone else as much as it did us. We couldn’t walk through a mall area without having to stop every couple of yards because someone got sucked into a bling vortex. I swear we are a family of Magpies. The bling got us every.single.time!
Mom, Nancy and I rode on a gondola at The Venetian and it was a lovely experience. Our gondolier, Santiago, had a beautiful voice and serenaded us with Volare, Amore and another song I didn’t recognize. The sisters on the bank assured us our gondolier was the best and he made it a very special time for us.
We did play a couple of slots, but none of us have the capacity to throw money away on a chance. We’d rather spend our money on something pretty and shiny, thankyouverymuch. Oh, that reminds me. We saw “Big Elvis” and enjoyed a couple of songs. He does a lounge act at Wild Bill’s, but we were right next to the speaker and it was too loud for me. Plus, his songs sounded kind of synthesized to me, and he couldn’t even say thankyouverymuch like Elvis did. He said, “Thank you. Thank you, very much” about as bland as could be. He was playing Elvis! Sheesh. I do a better Elvis impersonation and mine is BAD! We did see a younger, skinnier Elvis on the way to the airport by the Las Vegas sign. He even had a pink Cadillac, but we were running late and couldn’t stop. Maybe next trip.
Because we were all about the clichéd Vegas experience, we took in a magic show, although no one got married this trip or tattooed. My sister, Danielle’s nick name is the Groupon Queen! She scored us tickets to Michael Turco’s show for $20/each. She actually got called up on stage where he made her card appear out of drawing on a piece of paper. It was pretty cool.
I saw a Liberace impersonator at the magic show and was the most excited about that as anything else I’d seen the whole trip.
On Wednesday, Nancy, Danielle and I dropped off Mom and the girls at the airport and then had some time to burn before my flight. We drove over to the Pawn Stars shop since both Nancy and I watch that show.
It was fun to see the shop, although it was pretty much your average pawn shop, which I thought it’d be less run down considering it’s on a TV show and all. We then went over to Caesar’s Palace and had lunch at Serendipity 3. It’s the restaurant that has a $1,000 Golden Opulence Ice Cream Sundae.
We didn’t indulge in that, but it was nice to be at such an iconic restaurant and just enjoy some time together. We were amazed by “the beauty” of Caesar’s Palace and I was surprised to find a replica of the statue David in the middle of one of hallways. I’ve always wanted to see that statue, so it was fun to just have it appear around a corner when I least expected it.
We chose Las Vegas for it’s central location for all of us. Since I had to fly to Utah to take Katie to her other brother’s house, I was “in the neighborhood.” Next year, we are planning on going to San Diego, California. I’m already looking forward to it.
I can’t recommend this type of trip high enough. The chance to be with my Mom and my sisters, without children or spouses was just such a wonderful experience. It allowed us the chance to be together as sisters, not wives or mothers, but sisters. It was a rare treat and I will value the memories we created there as some of my best life memories.
My week off didn’t stop there. After Vegas, I flew back to Utah so I could spend a few days with my Baby Girl and to help get Katie settled for her stay in Utah. Ryley and I took in a movie and it ended up being a private showing since we were the only ones there. We could make comments throughout the movie without disturbing others. It was a lot of fun.
We had a social media show down during a lunch together. I checked in a Foursquare with this picture of Rye.
She responded on Hipster with this photo of me:
Oh, yeah! I’m cute. I retaliated with a Facebook status declaring our war where Danielle labeled us as Nerds. Rightly so, Danielle. An Instagram photo, Tumbl’r and Google+ all got in on the action, too.
While in Utah, I also got to go bowling with my brother, Jon and his beautiful family.
All-in-all, I packed a lot into my week away. After 8 months of 24/7 caregiving for my sister-in-law, it was a much needed break and one that rejuvenated my heart and soul.
I’ve been busy working on projects since getting back. The sewing project that never ends, well, it’s not ended yet. I decided to do the quilting on my own, which is slow going. I also have to hand sew the edge of the quilt closed. Since one side is gathered and the other side is not, this is a long, tedious process. Two-and-a-half hours into it last night and I’m about half way done. Let’s just say I’m glad I have some shows to catch up on.
The weather has been beautiful since my return. I spent my free time yesterday stripping the chair I bought for our bedroom. Here’s a quick Before and During comparison:
I thought I’d be able to do a quick re-caning on this chair, but the caning groove on the seat is broken. The wood is too brittle to repair, so I’m going to upholster the seat. I have a fun design in mind that will be perfect for the room. While you can’t really tell in the before picture, there are some paint stains on the chair and even though it had crazy cool crackles in the old varnish, I really thought the chair needs to be stripped to get rid of the paint marks. I am going to do a light staining of dark walnut to even out the wood tones a bit.
With the weather so nice, I’m hoping to start staining the wood for my tongue-and-groove wall as well. The quilt will be finished in the evenings and I’m finishing up the chair and the lights this week. I know I’ve said that before, but I really mean it this time. Pinky swear.
Have you ever taken a fun sister get away? What are you working on this week? Is the weather unseasonably nice in your neck of the woods?